by David Merrill, Co-Founder and CEO, Elroy Air
Elroy Air is developing autonomous aircraft systems and software to deliver cargo rapidly and flexibly by air. Building on the powertrain and perception technology enabling the hybrid-electric/autonomous vehicle revolution, the first version of their vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) cargo transport system can operate outside of airport infrastructure and carries 200+ lbs over 300 miles.
Commercial cargo by air to expand delivery options, immediate aid and relief in disaster and firefighting situations, and rapid autonomous resupply for troops in the field. Elroy Air began testing its full-scale prototype aircraft in mid-2019, and will present an overview and update including lessons learned, photos/videos, and next steps.
What drives you?
I am obsessed with improving quality of life worldwide with advanced air cargo systems – safely, efficiently and autonomously.
Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
We are leading the market in our space, and I’ll be showing new photos and videos with recent progress in system testing.
What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Short run: electric and hybrid-electric powertrain, perception tech getting better rapidly
Long run: Harmonized airspace integration for UAS of all sizes.
What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
These tech enablers will allow autonomous aerial cargo systems to be reliable and widespread, to expand the reach of express logistics worldwide.
What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Slow regulatory process.
“I want to be their first customer!” -Jim Martell, Owner, Ameriflight (major American feeder airline serving express logistics)
About David Merrill
Dave Merrill is the co-founder and CEO of Elroy Air, a company dedicated to expanding the reach of express logistics with advanced vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) cargo aircraft systems. The company’s first aircraft – the Chaparral – is designed for fully-automated flight and cargo-handling with lightweight modular containers, and will carry 200+ lbs of payload with a 300 mi range.
Dave is a technology executive and startup founder with a background in computer science and robotic+interactive systems. Alumnus of MIT (Ph.D.) and Stanford Computer Science / Symbolic Systems (BS, MS), TED speaker, and experienced startup-builder. His work and companies have been featured by the Discovery Channel, Popular Science, Wired, TechCrunch, the New York Times, Forbes and Aviation Week.
About Elroy Air
Expanding the reach of express logistics via air cargo – safely, efficiently and autonomously.